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mybestdog

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Posts: 13
 #1 
My best friend and baby died Wednesday. He was such a good dog and the best friend my husband and I could've asked for. He lived a long life full of adventure. However, I am absolutely overcome with guilt at his last days and the fact that we didn't euthanize him.

He stopped eating on Sunday unless I gave him food from my hand, and on Tuesday morning he wouldn't stand to go outside. We carried him to the car and took him to the vet. The vet's advice was that he couldn't really tell what was wrong without doing X-rays, blood work, possibly an ultrasound. But he said he wanted to be honest and that whatever we found, it might be an expensive course of treatment, and we wouldn't be able to fix his hips. (He was a mixed-German Shepherd and had hip problems so had slowed down a lot this year.) He said we could take a conservative approach and give him some medicine and see how he responded and then decide what to do. He said he didn't "look" like he was in pain. My heart halfway knew he wouldn't get better but my husband said we owed it to him to try as he has been our baby for almost 12 years. We got the medicine and I left him in the back of my car (with open hatchback and on a beautiful day backing up to a field) while I went to work and frequently came out to sit with him. After work, we took him to the park where he laid in the grass and then did get up and go in the river (his favorite place.) He could barely get out of the river though and my husband carried him to the car. The next day he was worse and just laid. Our vet has Wednesdays closed, so we thought we would see if anything got better and take him in Thursday morning if not to say goodbye. I worked from home and frequently pet him but I also kept trying to give him food, which he refused. I called my husband around 3 and said he was getting worse, breathing heavy and looking anxious, so he headed home. He died about 5 minutes before my husband arrived. 

I am happy he was on his bed, and that I was by his side. (In my guilty grief stricken state I can't remember exactly where I was. I know he could see me but I don't know if I was sitting on my computer in front of him or standing up making a sandwich. I had given him frequent pets and kisses but I wasn't holding him when he passed.) I feel so guilty that he had to go through that day. I am happy that he had Tuesday when he got to enjoy the car, the fresh air and the river- his favorite things and sleep in his own bed. But I am overcome with guilt that he had to go a whole day probably suffering while we tried to shove medicine in his throat and even shoved some food in that he didn't want before he passed. Did he hate me at the end for this and for not helping him? Do a few days of suffering outweigh the years of happiness? How do you overcome the guilt? 

Thank you. Sorry for the long, detailed post but I want the facts in there. He had been getting slower over the year, but still had spirit and still enjoyed car rides, river trips, etc.
HeartBroken12

Registered:
Posts: 158
 #2 
I am so sorry for your loss and the heartbrake you have to go through!

Not sure if this helps any, but I have a feeling that most people who euthanize their furbabies are guilty of doing it so, just like I am, but those that wait it out, also guilty just like you are.
Really sounds like you waited around because you were hoping there's a chance for him to get better. You gave him medicine in hope to help him.

I've heard couple of times that pets know when they'll leave their body, many times they wait for their human to be away and pets don't really struggle or feel anger or sadness. This last part isn't exactly how I've heard it but something in that line.

Unfortunatelly I don't know how pets think, but I would not believe that he hated you at the end! I would like to think that his 12 years with his loving family meant more then his last days in his body. At least it should help you to think this way
mybestdog

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #3 
Thank you for the reply, Heartbroken12.
HeartBroken12

Registered:
Posts: 158
 #4 
Were you able to find some support and advice on how to overcome guilt and some comfort knowing that you did try to help him at the end?
Blessings to you and your husband!
mybestdog

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #5 
Hi Heartbroken12. I haven't been able to find much comfort at this point. My husband did remind me that when at the vet, when we stepped outside to talk and left him with the vets on the table, they lifted him down to the floor. He walked on his own and sat by the glass door looking outside at us. My husband thinks it was as if he was saying, take me home. I don't want to be here. He was always scared of the vet and hated going there so maybe he knew he was dying but wanted to be at home. 

I read your post about the butterfly. I am so sorry for that pain. I don't think the butterfly was a sign of your loved one. The hard part about signs is that when we are looking for them, they are hard to see. There is no way to just say stop looking for them, because that isn't possible, but I think it is when you aren't thinking about it that something can come to you. Hugs. 


HeartBroken12

Registered:
Posts: 158
 #6 
How are you coping mybestdog? Awe how sweet that your baby boy was sitting by the door at the vet's office looking at you both.. But it's also sad in a way. I could imagine him sitting there, feeling love for you both. I wish I could be more support knowing what he could've been thinking at that time, but really who knows. Sure sounds like tho he was much loved and he loved you back! I sure hope that dying butterfly wasn't a sign either. Others told me the same, but makes me wonder if people just say that to try to make me feel better? I really need to start remembering the good times with my boy other then the last few days of his life. It would help me possibly but it hasn't been happening yet. Thank you again for your reply and kind words.
mybestdog

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #7 
Heartbroken12: thanks for your messenge and for checking in. I'm doing a little better most days, but I miss Dax terribly and am finding it too hard to read these posts right now. I'm taking a little time away from the board.
Goldie

Registered:
Posts: 7
 #8 
I am so sorry for your hurt and emotional pain and guilt that you feel.  As a cat rescuer I have had to put lots of cats to sleep in the past yet it still causes me distress to have to do so.  And also in the past 3 weeks my two year old cat died of a heart attack after nine months of illness, and yesterday I had to put a nine year old to sleep because a tumour was growing fast.  So my feelings are also raw like yours.  Its easier to comfort other people that it is to comfort yourself.  One of the ways I comfort myself that many people will never ever know the kind of love my (or your) cat (dog) knew.  And remember that your dog was loved by you unconditionally - animals know who loves them.  When you love a person or pet of course you do everything you can to help them through illness and to avoid death.  And that is what you did, you did everything you could in your power.  Does one day of helplessness and confusion wipe out years of love, attentiveness, kindness and a good life?  No, it doesn't.  What happened to you dog was something you were powerless to stop.  I knew a young house officer when I worked at a hospital in the UK, her parents were surgeons and all her siblings were doctors or training to be, but when her sister was injured in a car crash, this whole family had to sit around and wait for their beloved daughter or sibling to die, they were powerful people but powerless to save her.  You are not a family of doctors or vets, you are kind loving ordinary people and yet you did everything you could to make sure your pet had his final day on earth at his favourite place, with his favourite people, and then you helped him to go peacefully.   Please do not feel guilty for loving your pet so much, feel honoured that you could share his life and help him on his way quietly.  
HeartBroken12

Registered:
Posts: 158
 #9 
Hello mybestdog 💖🐾

Thinking of you and sending you hugs and blessings!
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